New Delhi | Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday clarified his Hindi remark that has caused a row in Southern India, saying that he never sought to impose Hindi over regional languages.
Amit Shah said it was up to others if “they wanted to do politics over it”.
“I myself come from a non-Hindi state of Gujarat, people should hear my speech properly, if they want to do politics, it is their choice, but my speech should be reheard to clear the confusion,” Shah said responding to critics who had accused the home minister of promoting Hindi at the expense of the regional languages.
Speaking at an event at Ranchi in Jharkhand, “I have repeatedly said that the Indian languages should be strengthened and their necessity must be understood. A child will only do well if taught in its mother tongue, which is not necessarily Hindi. It can also be the regional language like Gujarati,” Shah said, before adding that he had only requested for learning Hindi as a second language.
“But there should be one language in the country, if you want to learn a second language then let it be Hindi, this was my request, I don’t understand why it was found offensive,” Shah said.
The home minister said that there were examples of countries that had forgotten their native languages.
“We will need a campaign to strengthen regional languages in the country otherwise we will end up like Australia and New Zealand who do not remember their original native language.” Shah said.
Amit Shah’s response comes following a huge controversy that was created after he emphasised the need for Hindi to be made the common language of the country.
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan issued a video in which he said that another language agitation will take place, which will be much bigger than the Jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu.
“No Shah, Sultan or Samrat can suddenly break that promise. We respect all languages but our mother language will always be Tamil. Jallikattu was just a protest. The battle for our language will be exponentially bigger than that,” Kamal Haasan says in the video.